The odds are high that additional lanes that will be added to Iwo road will be used as car parks and shop extensions
For several months now, motorists, business owners, residents and passersby in Iwo road area of Ibadan have been trying to adapt to the new ways of life brought about by the decision of the government of the state to commence the expansion of the ever-busy road.
Right from Idi-Ape junction to the roundabout end, the effects of the road project could be felt by all, almost everyone.
Yesterday afternoon, I drove along the road and I realised that the road when completed may be unable to fulfill the reasons why it is being constructed in the first place. Now let me explain.
Presently, the contractor is working on the gutters on both sides of the road and it has ate deep into the buildings around it. If the gutters are covered (they should be), then the issue is how to ensure that people don’t start putting wares on it. If you think I’m lying, go from Iwo road to Iyana church and see what people are doing to the few covets along the road.
Several of the buildings, especially the banks, are just beside the road now and are no longer without places for cars to be parked while some shops are no longer having places to display their wares.
Imagine Mr Biggs at Idi Ape for instance. If it reopens, where will cars be parked?
Sometime ago, I was in front of the Samsung office at Iwo road and I saw the foreign owners of the outfit jumping straight into the office from the road.
So if the construction work is completed, the added lanes will turn into car parks and shop extensions.
What should be done?
The government ought to have thought this through before awarding the contract. There is a reason why houses are at certain distance from buildings. Anyway, the only realistic way is to probably acquire 3 pieces of land along the route and establish really modern car parks to serve the area. That way, people can park cars and trek to their places of work.
Another option is for government officials to compel owners of the affected buildings to modify their structures to accommodate car parks.
There is also the need to ensure that the area is regularly patrolled by road traffic officers to ensure that no one is turning any part of the road to his or her car park because this is bound to happen if no effort has been put to fight against this. And such efforts should include directly engaging with the Iwo road community to secure their cooperation and to figure out ways to guard against such occurrence.
The truth is Ibadan metropolis and road users are naturally attracted to breaking road usage rules and the onus rests on the government and law enforcement agencies to compel citizens to obey the rules. If this cannot be achieved, as I gravely suspect, then the road project is just a waste of time and state resources.